White dresses, bouquets, cake in the face — brides and grooms often go to their wedding planners and say something to the effect of, “I don’t really want to, but I feel like I have to.” As a wedding planner myself, I’m here to tell you that you should absolutely never stress over adhering to any one wedding tradition. This is your day, so make it look and feel like you, and you’ll end up with one perfect personal wedding. Read on for nine wedding traditions that can and should be modernized to your liking.


1. The Bouquet Toss: When was the last time you threw $300 behind your back and were happy about it? Never! So why do it to your beautiful bouquet? Keep your bouquet and either hang it to dry or press parts of it between your guest book pages. It will become a sweet keepsake rather than an awkward ritual that calls all the single girls out to the floor (embarrassing), and creates an elbow fight between your closest friends and family (not cool). (via Emily Wren Photography)


2. The White Dress: The current non-white wedding dress trend is a beautiful one. Brides are embracing their personal style and opting for dresses that range from light pink to colorful floral patterns. These days, it is rare that an event comes along allowing you to whip out a ball gown and your finest jewels. So if you find a dress that isn’t white, and you can’t live without it, what better day to wear it than your wedding day? (via Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay)


3. The Garter Toss: Just don’t do it. It is creepy and weird and should be saved for the bedroom. Do a little Google search on the tradition of the garter toss and I promise you’ll be rethinking it too. Instead, have your photographer capture a few intimate moments during your bridal portraits. (via Ben Sowry Photo)


4. The Bridal Shower: Unless you have a tight group of women in your life, bridal showers can end up being a little stuffy. I love the idea of a co-ed wedding shower that is open to your entire group of friends. This also allows friends who won’t be invited to the wedding to celebrate your new adventure in love and life. (via Tulle and Chantilly)


5. The RSVP Cards: Save money, save paper and save the headache by skipping the RSVP card. Paperless Post, The Knot, and Wedding Party App all offer easy digital RSVP tools. Direct your wedding guests to one of these options and you’ll be able to put the money saved toward that dream honeymoon you’re planning. Or, spend the money on creating a custom or hand-painted design and print it on quality paper. Believe it or not, your guests actually won’t be pining for an RSVP card. (via Paper and Pinafore)


6. Sit Down Reception: Instead of a formal sit-down dinner during your reception, opt for a more informal set up. Think of the best party you ever attended. Now think of why it was awesome. Try to replicate that for your wedding day if at all possible. Sometimes the best parties allow guests to mingle, eat small bites of food and come and go as they please. (via Copper Carras)


7. Cake in the Face: For some reason, brides feel like they have to uphold this tradition because their mom and dad — with their ’80s perms and goatees — did it. I’m here to tell you to skip the cake in the face. Instead, opt for a simple cake and a giant dessert table with lots of different goodies. This way everyone can help themselves to something sweet, and you can escape frosting face. (via Kara’s Party Ideas)


8. TheFavors: Moms, for some reason, love insisting on favors, and guests generally love insisting they don’t need one. Save the money for a welcome bag that is waiting for your guests when they check in to their hotel. Fill it with practical items like a bottle of sparkling water, something sweet, something salty and something that will remind them of their time with you during your wedding weekend. A simple bottle of champagne will also do just fine. (via Elli)


9. Who Walks You Down the Aisle: Who said you had to be “given away”? Where’s the goat dowry to go along with that tradition? I think it is most memorable and moving when a bride or groom walks down the aisle with the person that means the most to them. Maybe it is your grandma, or both of your parents, and maybe it is only you. Either way, just enjoy the music and keep your eye on the prize at the end of the aisle. (via Brit + Co)

What wedding traditions do you plan to nix or add a modern twist to? Let us know in the comments below!